Monday, July 7, 2014

Tidying Up

Summer is an odd time to get spring cleaning fever, but we have been making a few changes around the ranch to spruce things up.  Our old sofa recliner lost most of its cushioning, so we were due for a replacement.  Here is Stewie modeling the new acquisition...

We also have an old ottoman at the foot of our bed that Scrappy sleeps on and all the dogs use as a launching platform to jump on and off the bed, and Stewie managed to find a weak spot and start ripping the stuffing out, so we put in an order for a cushioned storage bench to keep at the foot of the bed instead.  That will give us more room to walk through the bedroom, and be longer than the ottoman so that Midge and Stewie don't have to risk jumping on top of Scrappy to get up and down.  Old man Scrap gets mighty grumpy when dogs pounce on him.

My husband has been doing a lot of work around the house.  He cut back the lantana, so that we can now walk along the flagstone when we take the dogs out to their potty yard...

He also trimmed the hedge in the front yard and laid fresh plastic down underneath the decorative rock to prevent weeds from growing there...

We were both tiring of spending all spring and summer bending over to pull up weeds.  We quickly learned that most weed poisons don't put a dent in the weeds around here.  He created a new stone walkway too.

He also upgraded the hitching post.  We were having problems with the horses going underneath it to grab snacks, and they'd get their backs wedged under it, so he added a backboard and cut the bottom corners off so that should their lead ropes get too long, the horses can't get them stuck underneath the board.

There are several rings in addition to the wooden beam where horses can be tied.  We were talking about possibly creating a ranch brand and painting or burning it onto the wood for decoration.

I'm amazed he could get all this work done in the heat and with his back problems.  He finally saw a doctor and got x-rays, and found out that he has arthritis in his sacroiliac joint at the base of his spine, and there is extra bone growing around it, so it may be rheumatoid arthritis.

I finished my last antibiotic pill this morning and am looking forward to allowing my body to get its good bacteria back into balance.  So, I'm over the infection, but I'm still working on getting my flexibility back in my knee from when I hyper-extended it falling off a horse.  I can swing my lower leg forward and backward fine, but I can't twist my leg at an angle, which makes putting on pants rather difficult.

I've been thinking about how the location of our property makes it the perfect horse property.  If we were any closer to the mountains, we'd be riding through tons of cactus and getting cholla balls caught in our horses tails and fetlocks.  If we were any further away, we'd be riding through the boring part of the desert that only has shrub brush.  But we are in a location where we have plenty of trails and space, but with enough cactus interspersed to make for interesting scenery.  When it comes time to sell this house, the trick will be to sell it to horse people who can appreciate the barns, the paddock, the round pen, the hitching post, and the gate to the bridle trails right at the end of the driveway.  To anyone else, the property wouldn't have much value.

Since I'm not feeding the horses straight alfalfa anymore, I've been feeding them without locking them into their stalls.  They aren't as eager to eat each other's rations as they used to be, because grass bores them.  But Bombay started this habit of walking out of his stall and blocking me from being able to get through the barn gate with flakes of hay for the other horses.  I usually order him to back off and get in his stall before I will come through the gate, and he does follow my directions, but the other horses get impatient waiting for me to deal with him before feeding them, and my voice gets the dogs next door barking.  If I want to avoid all of that, I just need to approach the gate with the long whip in my hands, but most mornings I'm still half asleep and don't remember to grab it.

So, this morning I started to walk through the barn gate with some hay, and Bombay came out of his stall to attempt to block and mug me as usual.  Rock decided that he was tired of that B.S. and he charged Bombay and chased him back into his stall.  Then Rock returned to his own stall and politely waited for his hay.  I burst out laughing and said, "Well, that fixed that problem.  Thanks, Rock."

Horses are so smart.  I love it when one of them takes over the job of training another.  That seems to be one of Rock's greatest talents.  Sometimes I just hand him a scary object and let him chase the other horses around with it until they give up and let him rub it all over them.  Ha!  We have a horse that is a horse trainer.  Maybe I can pay him in gum.  I mean extra pellets.


Sam said...

I love that you have access to the equestrian trails right off your property - that will be hugely marketable if you sell.

lytha said...

It seems most hitching rails are of a design that I'm worried to tie my horse to. The one across the street where I ride is particularly scary. It's a telephone pole strapped to two heavy posts by metal bands. My horse already broke her leather halter simply by getting her rope caught around the end and panicking. The thing that really scares me, though, is that there's grass under it and horses always, always, reach down and try to eat. I picture it in my mind - the horse's head is down there reaching for grass and something startles her and she throws her head up, hits the telephone pole and drops dead instantly.

So I tie her ridiculously short so she cannot get her head under it. Like, 12 inches, that's it.

I thought to myself, wouldn't it be great if someone designed a hitching post that is solid, that a horse cannot put its head under if the rope gets too long? Or in the very least, people shouldn't let grass grow underneath.

You got it.

fernvalley01 said...

Looks great! but yes that seems like a lot of work in the heat and with a bad back! Your hubby sounds like a great guy

achieve1dream said...

That really sucks that your hubby might have RA. :( I hope he's okay and not in pain. He did a really good job on your hitching post! I like it!!

Rock cracks me up! He is such a good boy. :D

Crystal said...

Nice hitching post, I did similar but just put a second post underneath the top one so they cant get their head under the rail. Rock is too funny, I love his attitude :)

Laura Lee said...

Sounds like you've been busy. Love the hitching post :)